Daniel Ricciardo stunned Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen by stealing pole position for Sunday’s Mexican GP.
Lewis Hamilton, who only needs five points to clinch a fifth world championship, was third fastest and will start alongside title rival Sebastian Vettel on the second row.
Sunday’s race starts at 7.10pm, exclusively live on Sky Sports F1.
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Qualifying results in full
Verstappen had been in dominant form up until the final moments of qualifying when Ricciardo suddenly uncorked his best lap of the weekend to pip the Dutchman by less than a tenth of a second.
Verstappen, who topped every practice session, would have become the youngest driver to claim pole position had he prevailed.
“The whole qualifying was c***,” a stony-faced Verstappen rued. “I had a lot of rear locking, on the down-shifting and when I come off throttle. Somehow the behaviour was not correct.”
A jubilant Ricciardo said: “I knew it was there somewhere. I knew the pace was in the car, Max showed that all weekend from start to finish…I gotta relax a little, I’m tripping major nutsack right now.”
Verstappen had secured provisional pole position at the start of Q3 before Ricciardo’s late burst secured the Australian a a farewell pole position before his departure to Renault and Red Bull’s first front-row lockout since USA 2013.
“All eyes have been on Verstappen, he’s dominated all the sessions but when it mattered most, Ricciardo delivered,” concluded Sky F1’s Martin Brundle.
How Ricciardo beat Verstappen to pole